New Ford Escape and Fusion both affected
According to a statement, Ford is recalling around 89,000 Escape and Fusion SUVs and sedans. The reason for the action is an engine that may overheat, and could possibly lead to a fire. The recall affects only those with the 1.6-liter turbocharged engine sold in the U.S. and Canada.
To be sure if a vehicle is affected in the recall, owners are urged to check their 17-digit vehicle identification number from the label on the driver’s door opening, at the base of the windshield or on the vehicle registration. On affected Escapes, there will be an X in the eighth place of the VIN. On Fusions, the eighth character is an R.
About 16,000 Fusions and 73,000 Escapes are affected in the campaign.
The specific problem, the automaker says, is that the engine may overheat. That can lead to fuel leaks that may cause combustion when coming in contact with a hot exhaust system.
The company says it has received 13 reports of overheating resulting in fires while the vehicles were in operation. Twelve of those incidents occurred in Escapes and one in a Fusion. Ford says it is working hard to rectify the situation “as soon as [it] can.” It adds that no injuries have yet been reported due to the problem, however.
According to the Los Angeles Times, affected owners may also receive ‘Engine over temp,stop safely,’ or ‘Engine power reduced to lower temps’ dashboard messages in advance of the overheating.
Ignore at peril, owner’s warned
If an affected owner experiences overheating, Ford urges them to pull over and turn off the engine immediately. It says it “will compensate owners for costs tied to overheating.”
Ford warns owners that it is dangerous to ignore these signs. “We have identified an issue and are taking actions in the best interest of our customers,” Steve Kenner, director of Ford’s Automotive Safety Office, said. “It is important that affected customers not ignore this recall and contact their dealer as soon as possible. While we recognize the inconvenience recalls cause our customers, we are taking these actions on their behalf to help ensure their safety.”
In the meantime, Ford urges owners to contact their local dealer — such as Gus Johnson in Spokane, Wash. — to arrange for no-cost loaner cars until a fix can be determined and implemented.
Four for four
This makes four recalls of the new Escape in as many months. The compact SUV has been a big seller for the automaker, and must be looking now like a bit of a headache. Since it first hit dealer showroom in the spring it has been sent back to the shop for coolant system leaks, cracked fuel lines, carpet padding that could jam the brakes, and now, overheating.